Chapter 20: The Tears of a Clown

According to Nalani, the pains that come with pregnancy are rather unique. Everyone knows about the things like morning sickness and sore back, but the really fun ones, nobody really talks about. Apparently pregnancy can also come with a delightful assortment of cramping, gas, bloating, and constipation. Sometimes I feel really guilty that my part in this whole process (my biological part, at least) was a really fun 15 minutes or so right at the very beginning.

The uturus is a curse and a blessing

It’s definitely taking a toll on Nalani. Is pre-partum depression a thing? She has been, for lack of a better description, pretty mopey of late. She seems really weighed down, and I’m not just talking about the extra cargo in her belly. While medically, every indication is that she and the baby are completely healthy, I’m not completely convinced all is well mentally and emotionally. She’s been a bit distracted, and a little sad. No, not a little. She seems really, really sad. When I ask her if she wants to talk about it, though, she tells me nothing is wrong. The thing is, she tells me nothing is wrong in that way that people only tell you nothing is wrong when something is wrong. I don’t want to press her on it, though; she doesn’t need me needling her to tell me about her feelings at the same time our child-to-be is relentlessly destroying her body from the inside.

Since I haven’t been able to address the problem directly, I’ve instead chosen to support her in other ways.

Trying not to get in her way

For example, I’ve taken over a lot of the cooking for Byrd and myself. I figure if Nalani’s spending most evenings cooking for countless other people and their families, the least I can do is whip up a meal now and again for hers. I have to confess I’m still not particularly good at it, though. Anything I cook is likely to look like fertilizer and to taste like charcoal, but so far nobody has gotten seriously ill and it takes a little of the workload off Nalani.

I also do my best to keep Byrd and myself out of her hair as much as possible, so she can relax when she’s home. I’ve really enjoyed our father/daughter time; it gives us a chance to talk, play and bond without having to worry that we’re driving her mother insane. One of our favorite places to go is the park in Willow Springs. She gets to a chance to meet and play with other kids, and the place is also overflowing with frogs. When she gets tired of playing on the monkey bars and jungle gyms, we can spend hours just searching in puddles and logs together for croakers, which she enjoys catching just as much as her daddy (or, when she’s angry at me and uses my full name, her Daddison Rex). She has also taken an interest in how I breed them, which has led to some rather awkward conversations I wasn’t ready to start having before she was much, much older.

Kraken off the starboard bow!

We can’t just avoid Nalani forever, though, and I wouldn’t want to. There’s a fine line between staying out of her way and not being there enough, and I’ve really been trying to stay on the side of that line the good husbands stay on.

I hate to complain, considering that I have the easy end of this pregnancy deal, but I really miss Nalani’s smile, and her weird little dolphin laugh. I miss our date nights; these days it seems that whenever we have enough time for one of those, which is rarely, all she really wants to do is sleep. I miss the fun, spontaneous girl who used to show up on my doorstep and talk to me all night. Maybe this will all resolve itself when our new kid is born, and I’ll get the old Nalani back. I hope so, anyway, because I’m really not sure how to help with this.

In Happier Times

Sorry if this update has been a bit of a downer. I usually try to present the hijinks of the Rex clan in a way that’s entertaining for my readers (let’s just assume I have readers for the point of this discussion), but in recent days it hasn’t all been fun and chuckles around here, and it’s hard for me to joke about things when the woman I love is unhappy. It’s even harder when it feels like there’s nothing I can really do about it.

Here’s hoping this all turns around soon.

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